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Vol. 61, No. 3, 2006
Issue release date: August 2006
Section title: Invited Review
Hum Hered 2006;61:144–156
(DOI:10.1159/000093775)

Thermometers: Something for Statistical Geneticists to Think about

Vieland V.J.
College of Public Health and Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Invited Review

Received: 2/27/2006
Accepted: 4/12/2006
Published online: 8/16/2006

Number of Print Pages: 13
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 0001-5652 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0062 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/HHE

Abstract

In human genetics, we measure the strength of statistical evidence using a variety of maximized likelihood ratios, LODs, and empirical p values. I argue here that these statistics have highly undesirable properties as evidence measures when applied to complex disorders. Among other deficiencies, I show that when following up on an interesting finding, they will tend to erroneously indicate diminished evidence as more data are considered (e.g., the LOD will tend to go down at a linked locus as the sample size increases). This violates a fundamental assumption underlying standard linkage and association designs in which we first scan the genome for our best signals, and then follow up at those genomic positions with additional data. I argue here for a coherent theoretical approach to formalizing statistical evidence measures, and derive a set of minimal requirements that any evidence measure should meet, drawing heavily on an analogy with the thermometer. I speculate that measures of evidence that come closer to meeting these requirements will do a better job of finding and characterizing genes, and I propose an alternative evidence metric as a step in this direction.


  

Author Contacts

Prof. Veronica J. Vieland
Center for Statistical Genetics Research
2190 Westlawn Bldg., University of Iowa
Iowa City IA 52242-1008 (USA)
Tel. +1 319 353 4782, Fax +1 319 353 3038, E-Mail veronica-vieland@uiowa.edu

  

Article Information

Received: February 27, 2006
Accepted after revision: April 12, 2006
Published online: June 12, 2006
Number of Print Pages : 13
Number of Figures : 2, Number of Tables : 1, Number of References : 20

  

Publication Details

Human Heredity (International Journal of Human and Medical Genetics)

Vol. 61, No. 3, Year 2006 (Cover Date: August 2006)

Journal Editor: Devoto, M. (Philadelphia, Pa.)
ISSN: 0001–5652 (print), 1423–0062 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/HHE


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Invited Review

Received: 2/27/2006
Accepted: 4/12/2006
Published online: 8/16/2006

Number of Print Pages: 13
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 0001-5652 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0062 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/HHE


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